Investigating the Role of Multi-Modal Social Cues in Human-Robot Collaboration in Industrial Settings

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Expressing social cues through different communication channels plays an important role in mutual understanding in both human-human and human-robot collaborations. A few studies investigated the effects of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic social cues expressed by industrial robot arms on robot-to-human communication. In this work, we investigate the role of multi-modal social cues by combining the robot's head-like gestures with light and sound modalities in two studies. The first study found that multi-modal social cues have positive effects on people's perception of the robot, perceived enjoyment, and intention to use. The second study found that a combination of human-like gestures with light and/or sound modalities could lead to a higher understandability of the robot's social cues. These findings suggest the use of multi-modal social cues for robots in industrial settings. However, the possible negative impacts when implementing these social cues should be considered e.g. overtrust, distraction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169–1179
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program as part of the SOPHIA project under Grant Agreement No. 871237, and the Flemish Government under the program “Onderzoeksprogramma Artificiële Intelligentie (AI) Vlaanderen”.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • collaborative robots
  • multi-modal social cues
  • acceptance
  • godspeed


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